MANILA, Philippines – The Impeach Leni Movement is still looking for a lawmaker who will endorse the impeachment complaint they drafted against Vice President Leni Robredo.
Among those they are seeking an endorsement from is no less than Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who himself considered filing an impeachment complaint against Robredo for criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. (READ: Alvarez calls Robredo ‘shameless’ for criticizing drug war)
Alvarez’s executive assistant Kenneth Shaw confirmed on Wednesday, May 3, that the Impeach Leni Movement, a group of pro-Duterte lawyers and bloggers, gave the Speaker a copy of the document so he can review it.
“Yes, they sent a copy but there is no endorsement yet,” said Shaw in a text message.
Impeach Leni Movement spokesperson Bruce Rivera said on Tuesday, May 2, that they are in talks with a male lawmaker who had expressed support for their impeachment complaint. (READ: Robredo’s critics ask lawmakers to endorse impeachment complaint)
This lawmaker supposedly asked the group to distribute copies of the document to other legislators, including Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Representative Jericho Nograles.
Nograles, Duterte’s nephew, already threatened to seek the disbarment of Rivera and suspended lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles after they included his name in the draft complaint without his consent. (READ: Lawmaker hits Impeach Leni Movement, denies links to complaint)
On Wednesday, Rivera also told ANC’s Early Edition that the lawmaker they are directly talking to is no other than Alvarez.
“When I was talking yesterday, we were referring to Congressman, Speaker Alvarez when I said that we gave it to an office,” said Rivera.
He said they were informed that Nograles supposedly wanted to be part of the impeachment complaint and wanted to read it beforehand. Nograles already denied involvement in the complaint.
“When we were asked to deliver the copy of the impeachment complaint, he was a little bit angry because his name was there,” said Rivera.
“We said that we are going to remove his name if he’s not going to endorse it. He got angry, so we had to tell him that we were leaving. We just submitted the impeachment complaint to the Office of the Speaker, Speaker Alvarez,” he added.
But asked if Alvarez was indeed the lawmaker the Impeach Leni Movement is talking to, Shaw said: “Not the Speaker.”
Aside from the Impeach Leni Movement, two Marcos loyalists – lawyer Oliver Lozano and broadcaster Melchor Chavez – are seeking Alvarez’s endorsement of another impeachment complaint against Robredo.
The 1987 Constitution allows any Filipino citizen to initiate an impeachment complaint against a public official, but a lawmaker must endorse the document for it to be officially filed at the House of Representatives. (READ: FAST FACTS: How does impeachment work?) – Rappler.com